GLOCK introduces a major advancement in its continuing pursuit of perfection. The standard frame GLOCK pistols have adapted Short Frame (SF) technology to provide a pistol that can be almost instantly fitted to nearly any hand size. There are several other innovations as well, and we will address them in this article. The 4th Generation (“Gen4”) GLOCKs are the latest in a long line (both in numbers and time) of GLOCKs that have become the world standard in semi-automatic pistols. A brief historical review is in order to chart the progress to today.

From First to Latest

The first GLOCK pistol, what eventually became the GLOCK Model 17, was known as the P80, when adopted by the Austrian Ministry of Defense in the early 1980’s. The frame of the pistol was ergonomically designed by Mr. Glock by actually taking measurements from military personnel. Coupled with polymer injection technology, the frame was lightweight, corrosion proof and temperature neutral. The exterior surface eventually was dubbed “pebble finish” for its lightly roughened surface.

At the end of the 1980’s, customer feedback (something GLOCK listens to) was that more traction was desired on the frame surface. Molded checkering appeared on the front and back straps of the frame as a response to these requests. It was this generation of receiver (2nd) which went on to win the FBI endurance tests, which led to the adoption of the GLOCK pistol by the Bureau. The checkered frame was adopted across the range of GLOCK pistols. A variation was unveiled with the introduction of the subcompact GLOCKs—the G26 and G27—where the checkering remained, but was enhanced by finger grooves and thumb rests for a “target” grip.

In the late ’90s, the GLOCK accessory rail was designed and fielded for those organizations and individuals who wished to externally mount the relatively new high intensity lights (and later, lasers and combinations of both) to handguns. The finger groove and rail frame design became the standard across the frame sizes, from large (G21) to standard (G17/22/31/34/35/37) to compact (G19/23/32/38). The major caliber—10mm and .45 Auto—subcompacts received a rail in the early 21st century. The latest variation of the RTF2 (for Rough Textured Frame, variant 2) has very aggressive miniature spikes, or “polymids,” for extreme circumstances that Special Operations personnel may find themselves in. The G17, 19, 22 and 23 frames are just now available with this surface.

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